According to the Australian Scamwatch website, 2014 saw Aussies pour out over $81 Million to fraudsters and scam artists. With that, and taking into account how versatile the Scamwatch site has become, we thought you might find it interesting to see a statistical overview of what’s been happening this year, so far, and how much scams have cost us over the last ten-eleven months.
This article is meant to provide a quick reference to those who are interested in Australia’s fraud statistics, offering links to the relevant sections of the Scamwatch site, where possible, for further insight.
Scamwatch lists 8 main scam categories, of which some have a number of subcategories:
“Unexpected Money” scams involve clever lies that lead victims to believe that they are on the verge of receiving a large amount of money, but need to pay some kind of fee in order to have it released. The Scamwatch website lists 4 subcategories that relate to Unexpected Money: Inheritance Scams, Nigerian Scams, Reclaim Scams and Up-front payment frauds.
Total Number of reports: 20,345
Total Financial Losses: $14,047,656
Not Disclosed 12.4%
Social Networking 1.2%
Text Message 1.1%
In Person 0.6%
Mobile Apps 0.2%
These types of scams involve the fraudster sending out enticing messages that explain how the recipient has won a lottery or other kind of prize draw. Usually these messages will be accompanied by some kind of certificate or “proof” of your win, but later on you’ll be asked to fork up a load of cash to release your winnings… which, by the way, don’t exist. The Scamwatch site lists 3 subcategories related to Unexpected Winnings: Unexpected Prize & Lottery Scams, Travel Prize Scams and Scratchie Scams.
Total Number of reports: 2,820
Total Financial Losses: $797,535
Text Message 18.8%,
Not Disclosed 5.7%,
Social Networking 5.4%,
Mobile Apps 2.6%,
In Person 1.3%,
Through either impersonating existing charities or by creating new ones, scam artists manufacture believable stories with “reputable” sources to sucker you in to paying them large amounts of money.
Total Number of reports: 671
Total Financial Losses: $53,429
In Person 10.1%
Social Networking 7.5%
Not Disclosed: 5.4%
Text Message 2.2%,
Mobile Apps 0.1%
Dating and Romance Scams rely on scam artists’ abilities to play on your emotions – in successful cases, fraudsters entice their victims to fall in love with them before going on to request personal information, bank account details or they just ask, straight-up, for money or financial support. Either way, romance scams are fast becoming one of Australia’s most expensive forms of fraud. See for yourself:
Total Number of reports: 1,755
Total Financial Losses: $14,834,205
Social Networking 21.8%
Not Disclosed: 4.8%
Mobile Apps 4.3%
Text Message 4.2%,
In Person 3%
Here, scam artists rely on their ability to outsmart consumers and/or business trying to make sales or important purchases. There are a total of eight scams that contribute to Buying and Selling schemes, according to the Scamwatch website: Classified Scams, Overpayment scams, Remote Access Scams, Health and Medical Product Scams, False Billing, Online Shopping Scams, Psychic and Clairvoyant and Mobile Premium Services Scams.
Total Number of reports: 18,644
Total Financial Losses: $9,727,018
Not Disclosed: 7.8%
Text Message 5.6%
In Person 2.4%
Social Networking 2.3%
Mobile Apps 0.5%
Jobs and Investment Scams rely on people’s enthusiasm and motivation to make money for themselves, preying on their ability to trust organisations, before manipulating the victims into paying out huge sums of money. Scamwatch has listed four subcategories of this type of scam: Betting & Sports investment Schemes, Investment Schemes, Pyramid Schemes and Jobs & Employment scams.
Total Number of reports: 5,192
Total Financial Losses: $23,354,574
In Person 5.7%
Social Networking 3.5%
Not Disclosed: 3.2%
Text Message 1%
Mobile Apps 0.3%
Fraudsters employ a wide range of sneaky tactics to gain access to your personal information. From there, they can use it to perform any number of illegal activities or to simply make purchases from your accounts. Scamwatch identifies three types of scams that usually result in an attempt to steal your personal information: Identity Theft, Phishing scams and Hacking.
Total Number of reports: 20,688
Total Financial Losses: $2,465,304
Not Disclosed 5.8%
Text Message 3.2%
Social Networking 1%
In Person 0.9%
Mobile Apps 0.3%
Fraudsters can sometimes take a far more aggressive approach to their scams, sometimes making threats against people’s lives or blackmailing them for money or personal information. On the Scamwatch website, there are two subcategories of Threats and Extortion: Malware & Ransomware and Hitman scams.
Total Number of reports: 3,792
Total Financial Losses: $674,705
Not Disclosed 6.8%
Social Networking 1.8%
Text Message 1.6%
Mobile Apps 0.5%
In Person 0.5%
Precise Investigation can help you overcome a wide range of corporate, domestic and personal issues – scams and fraud are amongst Australia’s most common crimes and it’s our prerogative to help people, from all walks of life, to protect themselves from the associated risks.
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